‘Basil the Rat’ (TV)

‘BASIL THE RAT’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s the last ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode and is definitely one of my favourites. In this episode, a health inspector comes to the hotel to find plenty of things wrong with it. Basil and everyone else get right to it to clean up the hotel and rid everything that’s unhygienic. There’s only one problem about this.

Manuel’s hamster – which turns out to be a rat – may cause the hotel to be closed down in the end. This is a good episode for Manuel’s character who names his ‘hamster’ after his boss that runs about the hotel. It was so funny when Basil tries to convince Manuel it’s a rat, but he thinks he’s a hamster.

In this episode, John Quarmby guest stars as Mr. Carnegie, the heath inspector. It was so funny when Mr. Carnegie wanted to have lunch at ‘Fawlty Towers’ and have some veal. Basil drops bottles of wine in the process when he hears this. It transpires that one slice of veal has got rat poison on it.

There’s also a funny scene with Manuel who attends to a young couple during lunch, David Neville as Ronald and Sabina Franklyn as Quentina. The rat is underneath the table and Manuel and Basil get distracted when attending to the young couple. Ronald is annoyed when they don’t take their order.

And of course there’s Manuel’s filigree Siberian hamster called Basil. The final scene where Polly presents the box of biscuits and Basil the Rat is seen inside. The look on Mr. Carnegie’s face is hilarious. It’s funny when Basil asks, “Would you care for a rat?!” What kind of a thing to say is that?!

‘Basil the Rat’ is definitely one of the best episodes from the ‘Fawlty Towers’ series and rather appropriate to end the series on a high. It’s a shame there aren’t any more ‘Fawlty Towers’ after this, but I suppose the hotel closed down after this following that rat incident. What do you expect?!

The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 2 of ‘Fawlty Towers – The Complete Collection (Remastered)’ DVD, there’s a commentary with director Bob Spiers and there’s a commentary with John Cleese.

On Disc 3, there are 2009 extended interviews with cast and crew originally filmed for the ‘Fawlty Towers: Re-opened’ documentary. These include interviews with John Cleese; Connie Both; Andrew Sachs; Prunella Scales; Bernard Cribbins; Geoffrey Palmer; etc.

There are also in-depth interviews with John Cleese; Andrew Sachs and Prunella Scales that were filmed for the original DVD back in 2002. Other DVD extras include the documentary film ‘Torquay Tourist Guide’; cast profiles for staff and guests; outtakes/bloopers and a cheap tatty review.

‘Fawlty Towers’ is a true classic of a series and it’s surprising that it lasted for only twelve episodes. These episodes can still be enjoyed today with their classic situations; bumbling and dysfunctional characters and a clever combination of clever writing and terrific performances by the cast and crew.

‘Basil the Rat’ rating – 10/10


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